JB’s second birthday party is this weekend, and I’m in the process of getting last-minute details ready. Today alone I’ve learned that there are approximately 4 million varieties of balloon weights, and 590 types of ready-made “white” frosting (because, let’s be honest, I’m not making that from scratch).
Another thing on my mind, though, is the freaking light switch behind the high chair in our kitchen/living/dining area. Also known as the bane of my existence in photos over the past two years.
What’s wrong with the switch? Well, it sticks out like a sore thumb – a cheap, dingy white thing on a chocolate brown wall. And it shows up in every single photo of JB in his high chair. (Because of JB’s low muscle tone – also known as hypotonia – he can only sit up with the assistance of harnesses and straps like those on the high chair, car seat, or his special therapy chair and desk.)
It would be easy to Photoshop the light switch away, or to shift the highchair six inches to the left or right. But no. This time, I am not going to play that game.
No one is focusing on the light switch. They aren’t thinking, “God, that’s ugly – why didn’t they paint it?” or “Well, that’s what they get for renting and not owning their home. What failures!”
What are they thinking? I have no idea. Maybe “Look how happy he is!” or “He’s getting better at his head control.” Whatever it is, if they are focused on the light switch, they are missing out on a beautiful little boy with eyes filled with joy, trust and curiosity.
I want people to appreciate the strength and resilience I see in my child. As my husband perfectly stated: “JB doesn’t feel sorry for himself, and he doesn’t want you to feel sorry for him either!” I want to show him at his best: When he’s trying a new activity like coloring or playing with bubbles; when he stops projectile vomiting for one whole hour and I can bring him to the library or on a walk through the neighborhood.
I don’t know what JB’s future holds; I can’t control that. I can control what is in the Instagram frame, though – and today I’m deciding to let that silly light switch stay in the picture.
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash
The gift of ‘I get it’
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